I received a last-minute call from an old friend Deborah, or as I call her, Debbie, saying she was going to drive down last minute to stay with her friend in Phoenix and wanted to see me. Debbie was like a second mother to me. I spent a great deal of time over the years with her taking dance classes and eventually becoming friends with her sons. Megan is still really good friends with her son and sees him when he comes back to SLC for the holidays.
Day 1: Saturday, June 6, 2009
Today I met Melissa’s brother-in-law Steve and friend Erica. We talked and shared stories about Melissa all day until about 4 p.m. Melissa was so gracious; even on the pain medication she was trying to keep her eyes open as it worked. She had a surgery yesterday to remove fluid from her lungs. She did not throw me out as I think that I would do in her condition. Melissa is so matter-of-fact that she just allows everyone to be themselves without judgment (reminds me of Mary, her Mom).
Steve remained so dedicated at her side from early morning to midnight researching, along with Melissa, the Internet for new cancer medications and treatment. He is the caregiver, and I think that he actually sleeps here (not sure). If you get cancer, it would be nice to have a family like this, so dedicated, organized, bright and intelligent. The support from her friends and family is amazing. This tells me something about Melissa, to have so many willing to do their share: it is obvious that the love for Melissa goes beyond self. Melissa is a world of knowledge; she is constantly teaching you something new when you are around her.
Steve can see she is getting tired, but wants her to eat something, so he walks to the nearest restaurant to get us a pizza. They keep busy with the research; it is a full-time job hoping to find a way for a longer, quality life for Melissa. Doctors and nurses are in and out; lots of interruptions and distractions. It is a wonder that Melissa gets any sleep. She has been here since the end of May.
Day 2: Sunday, June 7, 2009
I get to help blow dry Melissa’s hair (an honor) because I arrived at 10 a.m.